I have found some information on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. I think this will help to understand what people find motivating. I have found some sources which discuss intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and how it relates to rewards in games.
Extract from my research essay on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation:
“Richard M. Ryan and Edward L. Deci explain the definition of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as:
“The most basic distinction is between intrinsic motivation, which refers to doing something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable, and extrinsic motivation, which refers to doing something because it leads to a separable outcome.” (R. M. Ryan & E. L. Deci, 2000, P. 55)
So intrinsic motivation is internal motivation from the task and extrinsic is external motivation from outside of the task. This could be used in video games as people most likely have motivation to participate in games for both external and internal reasons. And further more rewards can be internal/external or intrinsic/extrinsic. People may feel motivated to play video games and complete quests to gain an in game reward such as new armor or new weapons, however others may play the game not for internal reasons but for external such as earning money or skills and knowledge.”
This still needs lots of work and I am still reading the sources and digesting the information.
My next topic is based around contingent reward systems in video games and ho it relates to motivation and player engagement in video game quests/levels.